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United States Politics and Government

HIST 519

United States Politics and Government

  • Course ID:HIST 519
  • Semesters:1
  • Department:History
  • Course Rank:College Level
  • Teachers:Rich Moss

Description and Objectives

The purpose of United States Politics and Government is to give diligent students an introduction to the American political tradition, law, and the development and practice of our own United States Government.

Over the course of the academic year, the course will examine the political history of the American founding, the constitutional and philosophical basis for the American system, the establishment and protection of civil rights and liberties, and, finally, the political culture that is unique to American politics. The course will then explore political parties and interest groups and the media, along with the impact that all three have upon the political process. Next, the course will study the institutions of government, i.e., the three branches of American government – Congress, the Presidency, and the Judiciary, discussing each of the branches’ unique roles and responsibilities. Finally, the course will end by taking a look at how public policy is pursued and implemented within the political process, taking a deeper look at the nature of politics itself. Upon completion of the course, the student will be prepared to take the A.P. examination in United States Government and Politics. A student with an “A” average ought to earn a 5 on the AP.


  • American Government (Brief Version), James Q. Wilson
  • Cracking the AP US Government and Politics Exam 2023, Princeton Review (2022)
  • Miscellaneous passages from The Federalist Papers, Democracy in America, etc….

Course Requirements

  • Tests: 70%; tests will be administered every other week on Thursdays, alternating between MCQ and FRQs.
  • Quizzes: 20%; weekly quizzes will be administered–usually multiple choice but occasionally FRQ or mini-FRQs.
  • Homework: 10%; assignments include, at my discretion, recitations, Free Response Questions (“FRQs” hereafter), notebook, etc. The latter two will be collected and graded randomly on a weekly basis.
  • Class Participation: Students can either earn or lose points from their final average based on class participation.  Tests, quizzes, and homework will account for 95% of the quarter grade; this grade can be increased or decreased by a margin of 5 points based on preparedness, punctuality, and demeanor.

Successful Students

  • The successful student will complete all reading and class assignments on time, allowing himself sufficient time to thoroughly do his work.
  • The successful student will take good, careful notes in class, contribute to any class discussions, and ask any questions whenever the need should arise so to better understand the material being covered.
  • The successful student will be adequately prepared for any assignments or exams throughout the week because he has put in the time and effort beforehand to know and understand the material.
  • The successful student will work to improve his writing skills so to write well-written, logical and insightful essays for class.


Additional Resources